To make a fast buck from petrol price hike, Shimla pumps go dry

Shimla: With price rise at petrol stations imminent following freeing of petrol prices and hiking of diesel prices, pumps in Shimla stopped delivery to vehicles as motorist attempted to tank up at the last moment and the pump owners hoarded delivery so as to make a fast buck on stored supplies.

Suraj Chauhan, a harassed motorist said, “the petrol pump outlet at Vikasnagar simply turned me away saying that there was no stock of petrol available at the station.”

He said that he had not been able to fill up at HIMFED petrol station where to the operators said that stocks were exhausted.

Learning about the announced hike in prices of cooking gas, Sudha Chauhan, a housewife said, “as if living with high food prices was not enough, now the cooked meal is going to cost even more.”

Earlier in the day Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met at Delhi and decided to free administered pricing of petrol and hiked the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas, oil secretary S Sundareshan, announced after the meeting.

With petrol prices being made market driven, a rise of 3.50 rupees per litre was imminent, while kerosene prices would rise by 3 rupees a litre.

Diesel prices will rise 2 rupees per litre and will be freed up in the future. Cooking gas prices were raised by 35 rupees a cylinder.

“It was decided that the price of petrol will be market determined both at the refinery gate and at the retail level,” Oil Secretary S. Sundareshan told reporters. Even diesel prices will be eventually freed of all administrative controls, he added.

The decision would cause core inflation, already in double digits, to shoot up further.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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